Right now Ontario is gripped in the midst of a provincial election. Well, gripped isn't really the right word, but none the less, the election is upon us. The hotel we're staying in right now was host to a big rally of one of the big three political parties. We rode in, saw them all in the lobby, and raced to our hotel room. It had been a long day and we weren't up to electioneering.
We got to the restaurant in the morning and I sat at the end of a long table, right across from Joe. Behind me to my left were two well dressed, well to do kind of guys. A few seconds later, into the restaurant came the leader of the political party, the one running to be Premier, along with the mayor of this said burgh. They chatted and introductions were done and everyone laughed just a little too loud. I looked over and caught the eye of the politician in the running to be the head of government. He nodded, I nodded. Done.
Then on their way out, all three of them stumbled into the wheels of my wheelchair, they were the only ones to have done so, I wasn't in the way, none apologized. The leader steadfastly looked away from me, I felt to avoid having to glad hand me. I wasn't in a suit and I was in a wheelchair - I just seemed to be so incredibly far below his radar. Yep, I felt unduly snubbed. On television later I saw his smiling face and him being welcoming and gracious to people. Why didn't I get that guy ... reasons ...
no cameras on - no need to be friendly
wasn't a rich, business type guy - no money to be gained for the campaign
simply doesn't consort with the disabled.
Who knows. But I'm left with a quandary. I've, on this blog, named some politicians who have done things that I thought needed lauded, I've named celebrities and judges who I thought needed to be named and shamed. But I've never used my blog ultimately in a political way, though I have lambasted the use of disability negative campaigns, but this is about a person and a person's behaviour.. Should I?
Is it important for me as a disabled guy to point out behaviour of those running for office, who engage in what I consider discriminatory behaivour towards me? Is that a duty? Even if it was the party I was going to vote for ... might still? Even if it was the party I'd never vote for ... ever?
Should I name names.
I leave the call to you?
Please vote in the comment column.
I think people have a right to know what politicians are REALLY like. If you can help with that, great!
I agree solely.....politicians are running "for the people" to do better ya da ya da ya da.....I believe this should be specifically specified. Everyone matters!!!
Yes, if I were voting in your election, I would like to know that. Like you insinuated, it may not change my vote if they were the closest to me politically, but I'd want to know.
I would want to know that about someone who wants to be premier or an MPP. It certainly would affect my vote.
I can see how this would be a tough call for you though, Dave
Well, we all know who it was NOT, since it was a him, so....we can just all vote for the party that doesn't have a 'him' at the top. Works for me!
Well it wouldn't surprise me if his initials were T.H. but regardless as a citizen of this wonderful country it is important we have "real" information before heading to the polls. It is important to know who these people are as human beings not what they put fourth before a camera.
Perhaps I'm just being contradictory, but I don't want to see anyone voting purely (or primarily) on a politician's interpersonal skills. Frankly, I think the more important warning in this blog post is that ALL politicians are one thing before the camera and another thing in real life, and we shouldn't naively trust what any of them say publicly.
I'm in the USA but I must say I would whole heartedly support naming names. I really believe that politicians are supposed to represent everyone!! Election season is just starting here and I dread the ads and signs and everyone trying to one up each other. One of the reasons I will never ever vote for Sarah Palin for any office is because she made some very unkind remarks about people who have downs syndrome and disabilities in general. And I am generally lean more conservative It has made me discount everything she says about anything because she didn't realize she was being overheard when she said those things. The saddest thing is she has a young son who has downs. One day I hope he asks her what the hell she was thinking!!!
SO yes dave Sing it from the rooftops just make sure you hold yourself, to the same high standards you usually do.
I would like to know who it was. You were not at a political event. This was private time for all involved. You were in a restaurant and all three people chose to not apologize to you. That is one of their failings as a person, not a politician.
This won't change my mind when I go to vote this time, but I would like to know how, or if the person/political party responds if you chose to name him. Hopefully, it would bring positive results if you do.
I'm not sure I really want to know even if I was able to vote, why?
It wasn't "him" who bumped into you, it was some lackies who may (or may not) be giving him money, who may have been up all night glad-handing and he could have been just plain embarrassed. That's not to say it was the right thing to do, it was just human.
(sorry if this posts twice it didn't seem to work the first time)
I have no dog in this fight, as I live south of your border, but...
I'd say, "Yes".
An interesting thing happened here in B.C. Politicians were caught outright lying to constituents. Of course, we all knew that they lied before but now they blatently lied, then got caught. A referendum was called. A big campaign was launched. The people of B.C. decided not to believe them again and voted against the HST. I suspect the feeling was that elected officials needed to be taught a lesson. Note sure if it was heard...
Go for it Dave.
Integrity is the word that comes to mind. Let's not kid ourselves, all poiticians lie, I just thought that those running for office had some genuine care for ALL people. The cameras may not have been on but he was ON to show that he is someone who can be trusted to work for us, the people of Ontario. I definitely would like to know who this politician was. Will it determine my vote? NO. As a responsible voter I will use this one piece of information as I make my final decision.
I don't think it was "human" at all. I think it was inhuman:
1. Lacking human qualities of compassion and mercy; cruel and barbaric.
2. Not human in nature or character.
If they had tripped over my feet kicking me in the shins and calves, would they not have been expected to stop, acknowledge me and apologize?
You could send him a letter and publish his response. But, his response would be based on his want to smooth things over now when he didn't care then.
I'm pretty sure I would have already divulged his name.
What a person does when the cameras are not there is a much better indication of what they are like than what they do with the cameras on. It shouldn't be a deciding factor for anyone as the issues should do that but it does help give a better picture for the individual.
He did this publicly....I say name him. He needs to be accountable and know that tho cameras aren't on, he's still seen..
I share your sentiments...I won't vote for a local candidate as he has two doors to his business...he only keeps the inacessible door open...despite having had an explanation as to the need...he can't afford to pay staff to watch the second accessible door...maybe he'll make more $ if he wins in the election?
I vote for letting everyone know who this person is!!
What happened was in a public place. There was no need for confidentiality . . . you have no need to protect him. I would give it a couple of days, however, and maybe contact his office and ask his side of the story. Goodness knows I have been caught staring into space and I'm sure I have slighted people as a result! Based on your findings you might want to contact Helen Henderson at the Star . . . see what she would do. Just a thought!
Politicians are asking to have the privilege and responsibility of representing their constituents. How they treat people they will represent in office is important information for voters. The offending person deserves a chance to be re-educated. Please blog on AND write to him directly, giving him a chance to respond. Unless he thinks it beneath him. Also blogworthy.
Wheelchairs are such big things, and neither you or I are exactly petite, but isn't it amazing how invisible they get?
I'd give them a pass on stumbling into you, but didn't their mothers teach them how to say "I'm sorry"?
But if you'd been in the room with the other candidates, they might have reacted the same.
I'm American not Canadian, but I'd say to name names. Maybe one of his staff will hear about, and he'll be more careful next time.
I think you should name names as I would like to know.
I tend to assume the worst of all politicians. They have to go to some lengths to begin to convince me otherwise.
I say name away. Everybody acts a bit differently in and out of the public eye but this is like going on a date with somebody who treats the waitstaff horribly -- it says far more about what they really are than anything they say when they think they're being watched.
Ack! Posted too soon!
Add "when they think they're being watched by somebody they think matters." Because the waitstaff, or you, or me, obviously don't count.
I say name names...people need to know the real person they are voting for.
Advocating for the devil, you could argue that equal-opportunities jerkdom is better than smarmy over-niceness to the wheelchair in which a person happens to be sitting.
Being less silly, I don't necessarily think you SHOULD name him. There's a lot to be said for keeping the focus on named individuals largely positive, and a lot to be said for avoiding (party) political brouhahas.
On the other hand, were I an Ontario voter, I'd think an incident like that relevant to my decision. I generally think policy matters more than personalities; but personalities do inform policy, and that incident raises questions.
If you wanted to do something further without the name-and-shame element, you could send an open letter/ question him in a public forum about his thoughts on disability rights, and get him to show himself to the world that way. It's quite hard to fake real understanding of the issues.
After carefull consideration, I have sent this blog to his office and asked if this represents his or his parties attitudes towards those with disabilities or those deemed 'unimportant'. The clock is ticking, I'll let you know what happens in forty eight hours.
How very generous of you!
So glad that you emailed the bog to that person!!
yes name names
I'm glad you sent it to his office and asked for his response. I really want to hear that...
I vote yes, either way. My guess is that he his response will show his true colours... maybe he was distracted and just having a bad day or something... Let's hope!
Have you made your decision? Will you name the politician?
I have decided not to name the politician because I don't trust my decision. I'm not voting for him and don't like him - is that why I thought what I thought about what he did? I've searched my intentions and am not sure. So, I'm not going to give in to the temptation to name and blame someone for something I'm not sure of ...
From hearing you speak, reading your blogs and having met on a couple occasions I think of you as a person who is fair and has integrity. I do think you can trust yourself and most likely saw the event as it truly happened. With that said I respect your decision.
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